Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Choice

I'm not a Facebook person. I think it has to do with the time it takes to maintain a page. Plus there's a lot of things I'm way behind on as far as reading and studying.

But my wife showed me something today that she thought was interesting. So I read it and agreed with her.

It was the story of a young woman who had ALS - a terminal disease - and had a short time to live. But she lived her last days as she chose.

Since she was fortunate enough to live in California - where medically assisted suicide is now legal - she planned and carried out her own two day going away party.

There was only one rule - no crying.

She and her friends watched one of her favorite movies and did what most people did at parties - had a good time. After all, no one had any illusions about why they were there.

At the end of the party she had herself rolled to a viewpoint outside the house and and died as she had chosen at the time she chose.

I think this is a wonderful social trend. I've seen too may friends suffer  their last days in agonizing pain before succumbing. As a society we treat our animals better than we do ourselves; at least we can take a terminally ill pet and "put it to sleep." Why shouldn't we be able to do as much for ourselves?

There were comments at the end of the story - most of them laudatory. Most of them about how brave and realistically the woman dealt with her last days.

And while I'm a free speech person, I had a problem with a few of the negative comments that were critical of the fact that she didn't die "naturally."

Of course one day they'll have their turn to make their own choices.